The illegal use of cyanide to capture live reef fish for both the food industry and the aquarium trade is wide spread in the Asia-Pacific region and not only leads to high mortality rates of the captured fish, but also damages and kills corals and other organisms on the reefs. Without effective testing methods, enforcement of anti-cyanide fishing laws has proved difficult.
The International Cyanide Detection Testing Workshop was one component of a series of initiatives being implemented by the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program to address this unsustainable and destructive trade in coral reef species. It brought together participants from Indonesia, the Philippines, the United States, and Vietnam, with representatives from fisheries and law enforcement agencies, forensic laboratories, CITES Parties, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), industry, and academia.
NOAA released the Proceedings of the International Cyanide Detection Testing Workshop this week. This document summarizes the outcomes of a workshop held earlier this year, including summary recommendations, working group reports, abstracts and white papers from speakers, and background information on cyanide fisheries. The Executive Summary highlights the major outcomes and conclusions from the workshop, including nine specific recommendations. These proceedings provide the framework to move forward in implementing networks of cyanide detection laboratories. Such networks would advance international efforts to enforce bans on this type of fishing and help reduce this illegal and unsustainable fishery’s presence in the aquarium trade.
Proceedings of the International Cyanide Detection Testing Workshop (full report, pdf 2.68 MB):
Bruckner, A.W. and G. Roberts (editors). 2008. Proceedings of the International Cyanide Detection Testing Workshop. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-OPR-40, Silver Spring, MD 164 pp.
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